When you’re having a baby it can be overwhelming trying to decide what kind of stroller to go with, so today on Savvy Sassy Moms we have a stroller guru in our midst sharing her thoughts on why you should go with a convertible stroller over the travel system. The lovely Amy from Stroller Envy will take the guess work out of the two types of strollers for you and hopefully provide some clarity when you make your final decision.
The travel system. Your full-sized stroller has all the bells and whistles, a super cute pattern and the convenience of a matching child car seat to click into the seat. This is every new mother’s dream, isn’t it? Unfortunately, the practicality of car seat and stroller combos wear off quickly when moms haul their stroller around with them doing errands. It quickly becomes huge, heavy and much too bulky, especially when there’s no room left in the trunk for groceries!
Many newly pregnant women have never delved into the world of baby products before, especially if they’re the first in their social circles to have a baby. Some don’t care much for the cutesy frilly patterns, and others just don’t know what other options there are that would suit their lifestyles so much better.
Why I Prefer Convertible Strollers
I approach this debate on the side of convertible strollers. Now don’t get me wrong, I do like some travel systems, and many strollers have available car seat adapters so it becomes a travel system. I’ve seen many Baby Jogger and BOB strollers with car seats in them! But I love the versatility that convertible strollers give new parents. Here are my top reasons:
Take off the stroller seat and place your car seat right on the frame for your own lightweight, yet stylish travel system. Far less bulk than installing your car seat inside the stroller’s seat.
Some convertible strollers like the Peg Perego Skate, UPPAbaby Vista, Quinny Buzz or
Britax B-Ready take a stylish bassinet in place of the car seat. Many parents advocate using a bassinet over a car seat because a newborn should lie down flat, instead of the semi-propped up position they have in a car seat. I like the bassinet option not only for the style but because baby can face you and lie flat at the same time, instead of lying flat in the stroller seat facing outward.
If you don’t want to purchase a separate bassinet that you’re only going to use for a few months, then you will love this bit. Some strollers have seats that convert into bassinets! I really like The First Years Wave and the new JJ Cole Broadway – both essentially the same stroller. The seat is removable and converts to a bassinet as well as reverses direction by twisting and spinning it around. No lifting and removing! The new Phil and Teds Promenade seat turns into a bassinet as well.
Front or Parent Facing Seat
Cherish those few months before baby is ready to explore the world. Maintain closeness and easy eye contact when your little one faces you in the stroller seat. I like that I can still recline the seat when my child is facing me, and I can attend to him instantly. I value those tender moments of bonding during our walks.
Then as baby becomes more adventurous, simply switch the seat around and it now looks like a “regular” stroller with a forward facing seat. Most convertible strollers have a molded single-piece seat so that when you recline it back, the entire seat tilts. The fancier brands also have adjustable leg rests so that when your child needs a nap, she can stretch comfortably.
Convert to Double
Here’s a huge benefit for owning one of these convertible strollers – you don’t have to buy a double stroller when baby #2 comes along! UPPAbaby Vista, Britax B-Ready, Baby Jogger City Select, Phil and Teds Promenade, and Peg Perego Skate all have the ability to add a second seat to the back of the shopping basket to turn your stroller into a compact tandem stroller.
While the initial cash outlay is expensive for these strollers, you will save money in the long run for not needing to buy a second double stroller and some parents feel badly when they have to give up the single stroller they have come to love so much. Now you don’t have to.
Have twins? I recommend the City Select because it has 16 different seating arrangements. The Vista has 14. The Promenade is also a smart choice for multiples.
Spread the Word!
Can you see why I prefer convertible strollers over travel systems? The good news is that prices for convertible strollers have come down now that more brands are offering this type. Competition is good for us consumers! You can buy a decent convertible stroller for less than $250 (not including a car seat) up to well over $1,000 if you choose to get bassinets and rumble seats.
It is my job to let as many of you know about this option as possible. I go to online forums where mommies everywhere still sign up for travel system strollers on their baby registry simply because they don’t know this option exists.
What do YOU think of convertible strollers? Had you known about them before you had your baby? Do you own a traditional travel system? Let me know your thoughts and questions.
Amy Tanathorn researches the best baby strollers at Stroller Envy, where she provides meaningful research and reviews of all-terrain, double, umbrella , jogging , and the best convertible strollers for a variety of budgets. Read in-depth descriptions enhanced with photos, video demos and detailed measurements. Discover actual consumer feedback and where to find the best deals. Make sure to follow Amy on Facebook and Twitter!